10 AUGUST, 2013Jurassic 5 put together a reunion show to hit the summer festival circuit, appearing at Coachella in April and for the first time since going their separate ways in '07, the gang was back. In a time when the state of hip hop is beyond dismal, they were a shining beacon to professionalism, togetherness, and the embodiment of the pure joy of performance.
The field at the main stage was packed, and with Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist keeping the crowd on their toes, the remaining members, (Akil, Chali 2na, Zaakir, and Mark 7even), galvanized the crowd and received a heroes welcome as they strode onto the stage. Wasting no time, they bounced into "Back 4 You", shifted gears to "I Am Somebody", and in that brief amount of time, held the crowd firmly in their hands. Building as they went, the trio of "Quality Control", "Concrete Schoolyard", and a breathless "Jurass Finish First" raised a serious bar. "Freedom" appeared late in the set, dedicated to Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin, and they also made space for rarely heard showstopper "Verbal Gunfight". Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist came down from their booths for a star-turn, threatening to steal the whole show. Effortlessly trading rhymes, J5 hit the crowd with their special blend, and turned the sea of bodies into one headbobbing mass. In this age of focus on the individual rapper, it was a timely reminder of skills not evidenced enough these days-a testament to Harmony. To quote their own mantra: "Takin' 4 MC's, make 'em sound like one").